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The Right Form at the Right Time

All non-legume crops benefit from nitrogen additions for optimum cropping efficiency. As a constituent of all proteins, as well as other plant tissues, nitrogen compounds represent more than three percent of green plant tissue dry weight. Since bio-availability of this nutrient is at the mercy of soil and weather conditions, management is a huge factor in both use efficiency and maximum yields.

Increases in energy prices, as well as concerns about off-site environmental effects, have heightened the value of optimizing nitrogen management....

How to Survive and Thrive in a Down Economy

As an ag lender and Vice President of Farm Credit MidAmerica, Brett Anderson knows how low commodity prices have impacted farmers. As a farmer and Maximum Farming System user, however, he’s seen how opportunities can still be found, despite the tough market conditions. The fundamental market indicators shaping today’s ag economy, by and large, point to negative moods on the farm. Commodity oversupply and rising interest rates lead the mood-setting factors, but with proper management, Anderson is thinking beyond farms surviving. He says...

 

Wisconsin Farmer Producer Nearly Doubles the Average Wisconsin Yield

Dan Kamps placed second in the commercial hay division at the 2017 World Forage Superbowl and has twice won overall champion. He achieved these wins with solid planning, sound farming practices, and by paying close attention to details. He also enlisted top-notch professional advice and adapted the Maximum Farming System.

Kamps and his family have operated Kamps Alfalfa Farms near Darlington, Wisconsin, since 1979. He and his wife, Ruth, started on a farm his dad once rented and have since...

Ag Spectrum’s Maximum Farming System provides short- and long-term benefits to soil, crop health

 

“I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” Rick Johnson says when he thinks about the changes he’s adopted in his farming system over the past three years. “I didn’t know that I needed to do things differently, but I now look at specifics beyond N, P & K.”

That focus on the full spectrum of crop nutrients is why the Newell, Iowa farmer is happy he made the decision to adopt the Maximum Farming System. He’s increased production, while trimming costs from his input budget...

Water management, and by default, air management in soils and crop production is often an under-appreciated factor in developing a successful agronomic plan. As so often occurs in any industry, the majority of attention is focused on where the bulk of the money is swallowed up. Fertilizer inputs tend to be one of the perennial favorites for spending, and it automatically attracts the attention of consultants and growers alike. Equipment is another area of focus due to the dramatic volume of capital growers spend. Other spending demands include crop protection inputs, and of course, seed....

In Tim McComish’s area of southwestern Wisconsin, there’s no shortage of hay to feed his dairy cows. But, there is a shortage of high-quality hay that can mean the difference between profit and loss. That’s where the Maximum Farming System comes in.

McComish has long seen the direct correlation between forage quality and his cows’ milk production, especially considering he typically feeds a 60% forage ration. Prior to using the Ag Spectrum Maximum Farming System, the Shullsburg, Wisconsin dairy farmer says a “good” Relative Feed Quality (RFQ) rating for his alfalfa would be around...

Throughout the Midwest, numerous acres of corn and soybeans were planted four to six weeks later than normal.  Furthermore, a considerable number of these crops were planted in soils that were either water-logged early in the spring, with continued frequent rains preventing wheel traffic on the soil, or they had cool weather in combination with other moisture which delayed planting. 

Many areas even experienced an unseasonably late snow in early May which left behind several inches of snow and freezing temperatures. Corn and soybeans that were planted late are developing in cool,...

Ag Spectrum’s Unique Approach to Research Funding

“Typically funders come to us [researchers in general] with a jug and a hat and ask us to test their products. If we’re lucky, they will also provide a small amount of funding that can help to support our research,” says Dr. Patrick Brown, Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of California Davis.

The majority of the industry has shifted to this mindset because it allows companies’ technology to be tested by an “unbiased” third party. For researchers to make real discoveries and progress in understanding basic...

By: Dr. Jim Smart, Shelly Greving

One of the management practices gaining a lot of attention is the use of cover crops. Like many practices that receive a lot of publicity, there are clear advantages to using them. However, those advantages quickly diminish when they are not managed properly. Cover crops are high atop the current list of trends, but diligent management is essential if you want to capture the benefits and avoid potential headaches.

Soil Fertility

Actively growing plants, which cover soil most of the year, help to maintain or improve soil...

Systems Approach Delivers the Breadth and Depth of Farming Responsibly

Farmers are, without doubt, a critically important resource needed to feed a rapidly growing global population. However, those same producers face a challenging paradox: balancing environmental concerns while maintaining soil productivity and still earning an income.

As advocates for sustainable farming practices, growers attempt to minimize agricultural run-off, reduce nutrient loss in fields, and maximize nutrient uptake. Farmers with tightened budgets are beginning to reexamine their approach to soil...

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